Prehistoric Planet
GenreNature documentary
Narrated bySir David Attenborough
Theme music composerHans Zimmer
Andrew James Christie
ComposersHans Zimmer
Anže Rozman
Kara Talve
Country of originUnited States
United Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes10
Executive producersJon Favreau
Mike Gunton
Running time37–46 minutes
Production companiesBBC Studios Natural History Unit
Golem Creations
Moving Picture Company (visual effects, CGI)
Original release
NetworkApple TV+
ReleaseMay 23, 2022 (2022-05-23) –

Prehistoric Planet is a British–American nature documentary television series about dinosaurs, that premiered on Apple TV+ beginning May 23, 2022. It is produced by the BBC Studios Natural History Unit, with Jon Favreau as showrunner, visual effects by MPC, and narration by natural historian Sir David Attenborough.[1] The documentary follows dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals recreated with computer-generated imagery, living around the globe in the Late Cretaceous period 66 million years ago (Maastrichtian), just before the dinosaurs' extinction. It set out to depict prehistoric life using current palaeontological research by including accurately feathered dinosaurs, and speculative animal behaviour.[2]

Hans Zimmer, Kara Talve, and Anže Rozman composed the soundtrack. It is the first major dinosaur-focused documentary series produced by the BBC since Planet Dinosaur in 2011, and the third overall (the first was Walking with Dinosaurs in 1999, produced by the BBC Studios Science Unit).[3][4][5] Prehistoric Planet received critical acclaim for its visual effects, depiction of dinosaurs, and Attenborough's narration.


A documentary that follows dinosaurs recreated with computer-generated imagery living around the globe in the Late Cretaceous period, 66 million years ago. It set out to depict dinosaurs using current palaeontological research such as feathered dinosaurs.


According to palaeontologist and consultant Steve Brusatte, the series had been in development "a decade" prior to its trailer release.[6] On May 8, 2019, it was first reported by Deadline that Apple had ordered a new documentary series by BBC Studios titled Prehistoric Planet, to be executively produced by Jon Favreau.[7] An original score was composed by Kara Talve, Anže Rozman and Hans Zimmer.[8]

The series uses up-to-date palaeontological research to depict its animals of the Cretaceous with scientific rigour; for example, feathered dinosaurs are featured in the series, such as juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex.[8] Palaeozoologist Darren Naish was the lead consultant for the depictions of prehistoric life in the series.[9] The concept art and creature design was created by Jellyfish Pictures,[10] while computer-generated imagery was developed by MPC and intended to be photorealistic, as with their previous productions The Jungle Book (2016) and The Lion King (2019).[2]

After its release, the series consultants other than Darren Naish were revealed to be Steve Brusatte, Alexander Farnsworth, Kiersten Formoso, Michael Habib, Scott Hartman, John R. Hutchinson, Luke Muscutt, Peter Skelton, Robert Spicer, Paul Valdes and Mark Witton.[11] David Krentz, the director of Dinosaur Revolution and character designer on Disney's Dinosaur, was also revealed to have been involved in the creature development and design.[12]

In March 2023, Apple renewed the series for a second season, which began airing on 22 May 2023.[13]


A first sneak peek was posted to the official Apple TV+ YouTube channel on April 2, 2022, along with a trailer, with a May 23 airdate set for the first episode.[14] A ten-second teaser was released on April 19, 2022, followed by an official trailer the following day.[15] A second trailer was released on May 19, 2022, in the lead up to the show's premiere.[16]

The teaser of the second season was uploaded to the official Apple TV+ YouTube channel on April 18, 2023.[17] The official trailer was released on May 2, 2023.[18]


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
15May 23, 2022 (2022-05-23)May 27, 2022 (2022-05-27)
25May 22, 2023 (2023-05-22)May 26, 2023 (2023-05-26)

Season 1 (2022)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Coasts"Adam ValdezPaul D. StewartMay 23, 2022 (2022-05-23)
A father Tyrannosaurus and his offspring swim across a perilous seaway to feed on a dead giant turtle. Alcione hatchlings take their first flight through a gauntlet of predatory pterosaurs, Barbaridactylus and Phosphatodraco, while Tethydraco nestle their brood on the shores below. Tuarangisaurus travel to a bay in search of gastroliths. A male Mosasaurus is cleaned by reef denizens and defends his territory from a younger rival. Scaphitid ammonites perform an elaborate mating display. A pregnant Tuarangisaurus is targeted by Kaikaifilu and protected by her pod, after which she gives birth to a healthy baby.
22"Deserts"Andrew R. Jones, Adam ValdezDom WalterMay 24, 2022 (2022-05-24)
Several male Dreadnoughtus clash for the right to mate. A pair of Velociraptor hunts for lizards among a group of sleeping Tarbosaurus. A Mononykus forages for termites and investigates new food options after a brief rainstorm. Several types of dinosaurs congregate around a watering hole in Mongolia. Barbaridactylus males compete for females atop a remote plateau. A herd of Secernosaurus brave the harsh gypsum dunes in search of nourishment.
33"Freshwater"Andrew R. JonesPaul ThompsonMay 25, 2022 (2022-05-25)
A trio of Velociraptor hunt juvenile pterosaurs near a waterfall. An old, battle-scarred male Tyrannosaurus nurses his wounds and encounters a three-year younger female. A Deinocheirus seeks relief from biting flies. A female Quetzalcoatlus builds and guards her nest. A mother Masiakasaurus and her family hunt crabs but one of her hatchlings is ambushed by a Beelzebufo. Some elasmosaurs enter an estuary in search of fish.
44"Ice Worlds"Adam ValdezSimon BellMay 26, 2022 (2022-05-26)
Dromaeosaurs stalk a herd of hadrosaurs as they cross a freezing river. Male Ornithomimus raid rivals' nests to bolster their own. A herd of Olorotitan raise their offspring on fertile volcanic fields but contend with biting mosquitoes. A troodontid flushes out Cimolodon[19] by spreading a forest fire. A juvenile Antarctopelta scours the forest for a new winter den. A Pachyrhinosaurus herd stands off against a pack of Nanuqsaurus.
55"Forests"Andrew R. Jones, Adam ValdezMatthew WrightMay 27, 2022 (2022-05-27)
Austroposeidon level trees in search of fresh foliage. A herd of Triceratops journey through a cave to find an underground clay lick. A male Carnotaurus sets the stage for an elaborate display. A female Qianzhousaurus hunts Corythoraptor in an autumn storm. A family of Edmontosaurus evade a forest fire, while an Atrociraptor and ankylosaur reap its rewards. Juvenile Therizinosaurus attempt to climb up to a beehive. A Hatzegopteryx preys on juvenile Zalmoxes and patrols the dense undergrowth and seaspray-battered coastline.

Season 2 (2023)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
61"Islands"Andrew R. JonesPaul D. StewartMay 22, 2023 (2023-05-22)
After a tropical storm, two Zalmoxes find themselves in a rafting event. Several Hatzegopteryx ambush a herd of Tethyshadros. A female Majungasaurus hunts a group of Simosuchus. A mother Adalatherium raises her offspring in a burrow, hoping to keep them safe from predators like Masiakasaurus and Madtsoia. A pack of Imperobator pursue a Morrosaurus onto a frozen lake. A male Hatzegopteryx attempts to attract a mate.
72"Badlands"Andrew R. Jones, Adam ValdezNick LyonMay 23, 2023 (2023-05-23)
Female Isisaurus traverse the Deccan Traps to reach their nesting site. A mixed herd of sauropods and Prenocephale navigate a maze of canyons, but are ambushed by a pack of Velociraptor and a trio of Tarbosaurus. A colony of male Corythoraptor protect their eggs from the scorching sun by day, and a female Kuru kulla at night, who has offspring of her own. Two juvenile Tarchia locate a desert oasis, but contend with an adult and a group of Prenocephale. Several Isisaurus hatchlings fall prey to Rajasaurus in an attempt to reach their ancestral home.
83"Swamps"Krzysztof SzczepanskiAlec GinnsMay 24, 2023 (2023-05-24)
Pterosaur hatchlings take flight to leave their island sanctuary, but are targeted by several Shamosuchus. Several Austroraptor hunt garfish and contend for the best fishing spots. A male Beelzebufo attempts to attract a mate, but his endeavor is interrupted by a herd of Rapetosaurus. A male Pachycephalosaurus must put an upstart youngster in his place. Two Tyrannosaurus brothers hunt Edmontosaurus under the cover of darkness.
94"Oceans"Adam ValdezAmber Cherry EamesMay 25, 2023 (2023-05-25)
A female Phosphorosaurus hunts lanternfish under the ocean's moonlit surface. Hesperornis hunt for fish until they themselves are hunted by Xiphactinus. Nostoceras hatchlings are at the mercy of the tides and juvenile Pyroraptor. A Mosasaurus hunts a group of Tuarangisaurus. The young Nostoceras that survived find themselves among Baculites and Diplomoceras in their new seagrass meadow home. A pod of Morturneria sift the muddy seabed in search of food.
105"North America"Andrew R. JonesPaul ThompsonMay 26, 2023 (2023-05-26)
A Tyrannosaurus and two Quetzalcoatlus fight over an Alamosaurus carcass. A shoal of Sphenodiscus are ambushed by a Globidens, intent on surplus killing them. At an evaporating lake, juvenile Pectinodon hunt flies while their father hunts Styginetta. Male Triceratops fight and display for the right to mate. A female Nanuqsaurus hunts Ornithomimus to feed herself and her offspring.


The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 100% approval rating with an average rating of 8.4/10, based on 31 reviews for the first season. The website's critics consensus reads, "Marrying state of the art visual effects with equally immersive narration by David Attenborough, Prehistoric Planet wondrously brings viewers back to the age of dinosaurs."[20] The second season has an approval rating of 83% with an average rating of 7/10, based on 6 reviews.[21] On Metacritic, the series has a weighted average score of 85 out of 100, based on 8 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[22]


Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards Best Streaming Docuseries or Non-Fiction Series Prehistoric Planet Nominated [23]
Television Critics Association Awards Outstanding Achievement in News and Information Nominated [24][25]
Cinema Eye Honours Outstanding Anthology Series Nominated [26]
Hollywood Music in Media Awards Original Song/Score — Documentary Series - TV/Digital Anze Rozman, Kara Talve, Hans Zimmer Won [27][28]
Televisual Bulldog Awards Best VFX Prehistoric Planet Won [29]
Broadcast Tech Innovation Awards Best VFX Project MPC Won [30]
Annie Awards Best Animated Special Production Prehistoric Planet Nominated [31]
Outstanding Achievement for Animated Effects in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production "Coasts" Nominated
Visual Effects Society Awards Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode "Ice Worlds" – Lindsay McFarlane, Fay Hancocks, Elliot Newman, Kirstin Hall Nominated [32][33]
Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a CG Project Daniel Fotheringham, Krzysztof Szczepanski, Wei-Chuan Hsu, Claire Hill Nominated
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Music Composition for a Documentary Series or Special (Original Dramatic Score) Hans Zimmer, Anže Rozman, Kara Talve (for "Badlands") Nominated [34]
Astra Creative Arts TV Awards Best Streaming Nonfiction Series Prehistoric Planet Nominated [35]


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  12. ^ Krentz, David [@DavidKrentz1] (April 22, 2022). "Re: Prehistoric Planet. Yes, I was involved. I would get amazing models and adjust them for accuracy or character and give modeling notes etc. some color work too. Really talented team to collaborate with, can't state that enough. I'll share stuff at a later date" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
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